How to study capacity support to states in fragile and conflict-affected situations: an analytical framework

Richard Mallett, Paul Harvey and Rachel Slater

Type: Working Paper

Date: 11/06/2014

Full summary

How to develop state capacity in a deep and sustained way is a central question facing the international community, yet capacity continues to be a fuzzy, slippery and often vaguely defined concept, which makes studying it less than straightforward.


The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical framework that can be used to: (1) identify existing gaps in state capacity to deliver services; and (2) examine how international actors’ capacity support programmes work in practice, and assess the extent to which they are fit for purpose in a given context.


While the framework has been developed with a thematic emphasis on state capacity to carry out service delivery functions, it can also be used to study a wider set of state functions.